It is April. I stand on the front porch of his farmhouse, built simple and solid as my grandfather’s nature. Grandfather, the hinge on which our family swung, was a simple weave of dignity and duty, abundant in the ordinary. I remember how he stood straight as a steeple in the sun-bleached, denim dawn and at sunset, how his scent would crack the evening air like fresh dug dirt. He was a farmer who knew what the land asked of him and in return it held the memory of all that made him whole.
It was here, in the fragrance of cedar and cigars, I heard the rooftop rooster spin the stories of the wind and I learned to wonder at the size and shape of the weather. It was here, in the kitchen that his stove-hot words of whiskey wisdom were soothed as we hummed the rich, smooth harmonies of poetry and prayer. It was here, he would tip the tables of time with his stories then gently roll our questions to a boil and set our dreams to simmer in our sleep.
And it was here I remember a spring when there were no flowers, when the sun slept through the day and the windows wept. It was here, in the hand-rubbed mahogany of a four poster garden where the seeds of my family tree were sown, here, that his whiskey washed my innocence away. It was here I learned the sound of truth was silence.
It is April. I stand outside his farmhouse. I anoint the soil of the past with his ashes and I forgive him for the sin he never understood. KAW